Juenes Footeux say Arsenal are on the hunt for a centre-forward this summer after releasing Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang without identifying a replacement. Mikel Arteta has Alexandra Lacazette, Eddie Nketiah and Gabriel Martinelli who can lead the line for the remainder of the season, but he’ll be short of options come the summer.
Lacazette is out of contract in the coming months and has no intention of putting pen to paper on an extension, so he’ll be released on a free transfer in July. Nketiah is also soon-to-be out of contract and has also turned down a new deal at the Emirates, so he looks set to depart too. Martinelli has scored just four goals in 23 games this season, so he can’t be trusted in 2022/23.
Arsenal have a problem, however. They don’t have the cachet to challenge the biggest European clubs and have to curb their expectations in the transfer market. That means Kylian Mbappe and Erling Haaland might be out of their reach, but Patrick Schick is believed to be a transfer target.
The 26-year-old top-scored at Euro 2020 last summer with five goals in five games, and his form continued at club-level. Schick boasts 20 goals from 24 games across the board for Leverkusen this season, so it’s easy to see why Arsenal are keen. And while the Czech Republic international has three-and-a-half years remaining on his deal at the BayArena, Juenes Footeux says he might be granted a departure for the right price.
The report says Leverkusen could request around €60m (£50m) while Schick’s wages are believed to be €100k-per-week/€5.2k-a-year (£83.6k-per-week/£4.3m-a-year). The 26-year-old’s form for club and country over the last six months has skyrocketed his valuation, as Leverkusen paid only €29m (£24.2m) for him in 2020.
Schick looks the real deal. He’s scored 33 goals with five assists in 60 games for Leverkusen and boasts 17 goals with six assists in 33 games for the national team, so Arsenal would be signing a tried-and-tested striker if they lured him away from Germany.